Daily Egyptian

Bethune found guilty in 2014 death of SIU student

By Hannah Smith, Staff Writer

Gaege Bethune, a 23-year-old from Herrin, has been found guilty of first degree murder with aggravated battery in the murder of SIU student Pravin Varughese.

The 12-person jury did not find Bethune guilty on the second charge noted – first-degree murder with an aggravated factor of robbery.

Varughese was found in a wooded area south of Illinois Route 13, five days after he encountered Bethune at a party in February of 2014.

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The prosecution and defense both agreed that the men were looking for cocaine and that there was a fight that night, but differed on who was initially seeking the cocaine and who began the fight.

The defense had also argued that Varughese’s death was only caused by the hypothermia he suffered from being outside in the cold overnight without warm enough clothing.

Bethune originally pleaded “not guilty” in the murder.

The case against Bethune closed just over a week after it began in the Jackson County Court System.

Staff Writer Hannah smith can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @h_lou_s 

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